The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Dedza East constituency members have decided to go to next year's polls without the incumbent legislature for the area Juliana Lunguzi on the ballot paper following her loss in yesterday’s primaries to Patrick Bandawe.
Lunguzi lost to Bandawe by 821 votes against hers of 815 with some irregularities marring the primary elections.
Youth Initiative for Community Development is one of the organizations advocating for female candidates in Dedza and its Executive Director Andrew Bwanali expressed dismay over the matter saying women are still being left behind and this is difficult to achieve the 50:50 goals.
"I am not pleased with the results for the fact that some candidates have the advantages of making it political because of their party's name. Out of eight constituencies in Dedza, MCP has only one female candidate and this is representing a very low percentage just the same as what happened in 2014. It has been our wish to see many female candidates on the ballot paper,” said Bwanali.
Bwanali then called on party followers especially women to support their fellow women in the parties where primary elections have not yet been conducted.
So far, Dedza district has two female candidates who will represent their parties as Members of Parliament in next year’s polls ( Annie Kadzanja for DPP and Lydia Dzongwe for MCP).
The atmosphere at Mankhamba ground seemed to go Lunguzi's way as she had three queues against the eventual winner Bandawe who had two queues.
During the counting process, another aspirant Mussa M'bwana decided to join forces with another candidate, a development that was seen to be against the party's constitution.
Announcing the results, presiding officer Peter Chalera said Patrick Bandawe had won.
"I therefore announce that Patrick Bandawe has won the primaries today," said Bandawe.
However there was no immediate comment from Lunguzi and Bandawe. Other sources told Malawi Electral Commission that Lunguzi lost to Bandawe because Dedza East Constituency does not give a person a second chance on power.